Tel Aviv — Judging from the views of Israeli academics at a panel Thursday afternoon, Israel has much to worry about if Barack Obama is elected president this fall.
Barry Rubin, a well-known and respected Mideast expert and academic, told an audience today at a conference at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University here that an Obama victory would precipitate “the most dangerous crisis facing the world.”
Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Why is Sen. Barack Obama devoting so much time and energy trying to win over Jewish voters?
On the surface, the numbers don’t add up. A majority of Jews are going to vote Democratic in November’s presidential contest no matter what; does the difference between 61 percent (what Obama scored in a recent Gallup Poll and 74 percent (what John Kerry actually won in 2004) really make that much of a difference?
Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Is the Bush administration worried that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s new troubles will stall their effort to make significant progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations before January?
Don’t count on it. While most analysts in Washington believe the new corruption investigation means Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are effectively on hold for the foreseeable future, that may not be at odds with administration goals.
The New York Times reports this week on the depth of anti-Jewish hatred within Hamas was well documented and important for the world to see, but it gave something of a free pass to Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.
The thorough reporting job on the front page of the New York Times today (April 1) describing the depth of anti-Semitism of Hamas, in its sermons and broadcasts, should be commended by pro-Israel readers, particularly those who have complained about the coverage by the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger as biased in favor of the Palestinians.
But I’m not holding my breath. In fact, pro-Israel critics no doubt will respond to today’s story by exclaiming,” what took so long?”
The subtext of the controversy over the recent shocking remarks made by Yeshiva University rosh yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Schachter — where he appeared to advocate shooting the Israeli Prime Minister if the government would “give up Jerusalem” — is less about the rabbi himself and more about the division within the Orthodox community over da’as Torah [literally, Torah knowledge, but meaning possessing a higher level of Divine insight].